(Editor’s Note: Don’t use this as an excuse to forgo cleaning the house…just be wary of what you use to clean the house!)
Scientists are warning that cleaning the house can be just as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 a day for 20 years, due to the inhalation of cleaning products. In fact, inhaling chemicals raises asthma risk up to 43 percent in that time and speeds up the decline of our lungs as we age. Women and professional cleaners suffer the most while men seem unaffected.
“Oistein Svanes, of Norway’s Bergen University, said: ‘Cleaning chemicals very likely cause substantial lung damage. Think of particles from cleansers meant for floors, not lungs, and maybe it’s no surprise.'”1
The researchers believe that the chemicals “irritate the lining of the airways,” which leads to long-term changes. However, using solid or liquid products and avoiding chemically scented products can help you avoid the risk. (But if you are looking to avoid risk it’s probably best to NOT use almost any of the cleaning products you find in the grocery store.)
And, Svanes adds that microfibre cloths and water are good enough for most of the cleaning you need to do. There are also natural cleaning products you can buy or make, as well. For instance, check out the video below:
This news is especially important for those with asthma as using certain cleaning products can be toxic since they inflame already inflamed airways and leave people susceptible to an asthma attack.